Sharks set to end rotations

2013-09-24 00:00

THE Sharks have made regular changes over the course of this year’s Absa Currie Cup campaign, each week giving opportunities to players to perform, and others to rest.

This past week, Jacques Botes and Jean Deysel — two senior performers — were given a break after carrying a heavy workload, which gave Tera Mtembu and Brynard Stander some game time. It’s been about opportunities as well as developing the depth in the province.

“We’re very blessed with the number of talented players we have at the Sharks and we want to make sure everyone gets a chance to show their worth,” explained forwards coach Brad Macleod-Henderson. “So that when everyone plays, they’re all fresh and can give of their best. It’s a combination of giving everyone an opportunity and building our squad and it’s worked very well for us, we’re very happy with it.

“We wanted everyone to have an opportunity to play two games to show what they could do, it wasn’t just giving them one chance to prove themselves. There is always the risk that too many changes might have a disruptive effect, but it’s been a delicate balance to try and get it right, to give everyone a chance while trying to maintain team dynamics and continuity.”

This week will continue as usual with the Lions hosting the Sharks at Ellis Park, with next week’s game and onwards featuring the team they hope to carry through to the final.

“From next week we will select what we think is our strongest team for the run-in to the semis and final,” he confirmed.

The expectation for this week is not too many changes aside from those enforced with the loss of Marcell Coetzee and Pieter-Steph du Toit to the Springboks. “We’re very happy for them. It was fantastic to have them playing for us and losing them opens two spaces, so there will be a couple of changes.

“We’ll spend some time looking at the loose trio, we’re fortunate to have Justin Downey and Brynard Stander as well, so have a few options at loose forward, we’re very blessed in that area. We may look at resting Jean and Jacques for another week, so we’ll look at keeping the nucleus of last week’s side together for another week and then from next week selecting essentially what we think is our best team, which will mark the end of our rotation policy.”

Besides the rotational policy, the campaign has also been about the performances: growing and perfecting what they deliver on game day. A process of constant improvement.

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